Skoda Rapid Features, Performance & Test Drive

Skoda Rapid Overview

The Rapid has always been a steady performer for Skoda. While the big boys from the Czech automaker’s portfolio that is, the Octavia and the Superb always stole the limelight, it was the Rapid that steadily contributed volumes. With the demise of the Fabia brand in India, the sedan has been the most affordable Skoda on sale, for a couple of years.With the competition picking up steam, Skoda thought it was wise to give the Rapid a nip and tuck, and prep it for yet another stint at the market. What’s changed? Let’s take a look: Skoda Rapid  On road price starts from 8,47,205/-. Check for price details of Skoda Rapid in CarzPrice

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Skoda Rapid Design

The Skoda Rapid Black Edition looks exactly the same as the old car. The only difference is that the headlamps are blacked and also the alloy wheels are now black colored ones. The Rapid now gets projector lamps as well. This gives it a very sporty look. The Skoda Rapid is now aimed at the younger buyer. The front portion as well as the rear end remain the same and there is no change on either sides.

Skoda Rapid Cabin

The interior layout of the Rapid is unchanged but the dual-tone dashboard now replaces brown trim on top with black. There are some leatherette elements in the cabin such as the steering wheel, gearknob, handbrake lever, etc. The quality, fit and finish is without doubt excellent and feels like a typical German car. The instrument cluster looks a bit dated though while the steering is great to hold.The biggest change with the latest updates is the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with MirrorLink technology that syncs your smartphone with inbuilt apps. The sound quality of the audio system is quite satisfying. You still miss out on features like keyless entry and push button start, sunroof, auto headlamps, rear parking camera, etc. What you get though is cruise control, rain sensing wipers, reach and rake adjustable steering, cooled glovebox and footwell lighting.

The Skoda Rapid is mostly meant for people who love to be behind the wheel and for those who have a small family. The seats are very comfortable both at the front and the back but rear seat legroom is just average compared to some other cars in this segment. You also can’t fit three adults abreast with ease because of the big transmission hump in the middle. The boot is big and accommodating though with 460-litres of luggage capacity.

Skoda Rapid Engine

Engine options remain unchanged for the Rapid, and include a 1.6-litre petrol engine, and a 1.5-litre oil burner. Both engines are available with a 5-speed manual transmission, and optional automatic transmissions – 6-speed torque converter for the petrol and a 7-speed dual-clutch for the diesel.

Petrol

The 1.6-litre ‘MPi’ engine has been among Skoda’s most reliable motors, powering a sizeable chunk of their global portfolio. The four-cylinder engine feels well suited for the size and bulk of the Rapid, and rarely feels out of breath. While it has 105PS and 153Nm on tap, it isn’t exactly a sprightly performer. While maximum shove is available in a relatively narrow band post 3500rpm, peak power is developed only near the redline.Naturally, you are usually forced to rev the motor to make the most of it. Bottom end is strong enough to let you do 20kmph in third without stuttering. The clutch is light, action is positive and the travel isn’t too long either – so traffic snarls shouldn’t be a big bother. In case you want to give the left leg a rest altogether, there’s an automatic on offer too.

The 6-speed automatic does a good job of swapping cogs. Admittedly it isn’t as good as the 7-speed DSG in the diesel, but it wouldn’t give you a reason to complain on a daily basis. Driving the petrol automatic requires a light and steady right foot, which gives the gearbox enough time to contemplate and execute gear changes. Needless to mention, it will be easier on the pocket that way too.In case you are eyeing the petrol, bear in mind the motor likes to relax. Hurrying isn’t its cup of tea, and it is far more suited chugging miles at a leisurely place.

Diesel

The Rapid gets the updated 1.5-litre TDi diesel engine that debuted with the Volkswagen Ameo compact sedan. Power is up to 110PS (from 105PS), while peak torque remains identical at 250Nm. Between the two options, the diesel is easily our pick for its outright oomph and fun to drive factor.

Paired with the 5-speed manual, the 1.5-litre motor is quite a hoot to drive. We wouldn’t blame you if you found yourself keeping the motor on the boil, exploiting all the 250Nm it has to offer. Turbo lag isn’t as perceptible as before, and if you are silly with the throttle, it will pin you to your seat as the tacho climbs past 1500rpm. The clutch on the diesel version is anything but light, though. Prolonged traffic jams will give your calves quite a workout, and we genuinely wish it was a notch lighter to help crawling in traffic.

What about the automatic? Well, it won’t make you miss a manual transmission. It is that good! Shifts are quick – both up and down – and there’s a Sport mode if you want to have some fun too. The gearbox is tuned for efficiency, and will find every little opportunity to shift up. Lay the hammer down with the right foot, and it will hold the revs all the way up to the redline. Nice!

Skoda Rapid Rideing

Pick any car from the entire Skoda lineup and it shines in this department. Same is the case with the Rapid. It offers excellent ride at high speeds with super confidence on the highways. It is well composed on undulations as well but patchy roads with deep potholes makes it thud loudly. The handling is very satisfying, it is eager to take corners hard and maintains its line without any drama. The steering feel is rich, giving you precise feedback about the wheels. The brakes offer good stopping power but it’s almost 2017 now and manufacturers should start offering rear discs for that extra edge on safety.

Skoda Rapid SAfety

Dual airbags and anti-lock brakes come as standard across all variants of the Skoda Rapid. The automatic variants goes one up, offering Hill Hold Control and the diesel-auto gets Electronic Stability Control as well. Also, in case of a crash, the Rapid automatically cuts off fuel supply. View offers on Skoda Cars from Skoda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Skoda Rapid Price

Skoda Rapid Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 8,47,205/- (Rapid 1.6 MPI Active Petrol) to 13,45,266/- (Rapid 1.5 TDI CR Style AT). Get best offers for Skoda Rapid from Skoda Dealers in India

Skoda Rapid Verdict

When it comes to practicality, the Skoda Rapid Black Edition is a great car for this segment. Priced Rs.2 lakhs less than the Hyundai Verna it is a cheaper bet, but it doesn’t have as many features as the Korean car does. In a time where a customer buys a car for the satisfaction of driving the Skoda Rapid Black Edition is a definite recommendation from our side. There is enough power on tap. The space is great. With the rear A/C vent the comfort is wonderful and with a great fuel efficiency and automatic transmission the package seems unbeatable. The only place where this buy might bite you in the backside is on the service.